Planning an Alternative to Casinos on Our Riverfront

Grassroots planning organization, Neighbors Allied for the Best Riverfront, will convene a half-day planning charette, or workshop, to develop alternative design proposals for the 2 proposed riverfront casino sites — the “Sugarhouse” site at Delaware and Frankford in Fishtown and the “Foxwoods” site at Columbus and Reed in South Philadelphia. Using the very values that were solicited from the public in the Penn Praxis planning forums as true directives, NABR will bring together community residents and planning and architecture professionals to develop specific proposals for these 2 sites in lieu of casinos.

Shawn Rairigh, an urban planner and member of NABR, states, “As participants in the Penn Praxis-led riverfront planning process [established by Mayor Street last year], we have worked diligently to guarantee that that plan reflect the values of the citizens of Philadelphia who overwhelmingly declared in public forums that casinos do not belong in our neighborhoods or on our riverfront. If the leadership of both Penn Praxis and the Philadelphia Planning Commission won’t honor the public’s wishes, then NABR will facilitate a planning process that does envision something other than casinos on those sites.”

The planning workshop will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2007 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the historic Old Brick Church in Fishtown. A host of experts and professionals representing such fields as architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, port industry, visual arts and more will be in attendance, as will representatives from the various civic groups along the riverfront. This event is free and open to the public. All residents who live and work along the riverfront are especially encouraged to attend and add their voices to this collective vision.